In a new format, going green-white is almost never a bad choice. We’re more than half way through Kaladesh previews, so before the full set is out, I’d like to take a look at one of the best decks that survives the rotation.
Green-White Tokens was a powerhouse a few months ago, but the strength of Collected Company and Emrakul, the Promised End overshadowed it. The main reasons it disappeared from Standard metagame were Spell Queller and Selfless Spirit, which were able to pressure planeswalkers through defenses.
Planeswalkers have been the main strength of GW Tokens, so it’s important to protect them. Without Collected Company around, only UW Spirits will be able to play flyers, so you should be able to address that problem more easily now.
What Do You Lose?
Let’s take a look at which cards you’ll need to replace:
Hangarback Walker let you go off with Archangel Avacyn and Evolutionary Leap, but it was weak to Reflector Mage and Spell Queller. Still, it was great early and late, and finding another 2-drop with that kind of range won’t be easy.
Dromoka’s Command is definitely the card that this deck will miss the most, since it was so versatile and just great overall. So far, there aren’t good replacements for this card. We’ll have to live with Declaration in Stone and Stasis Snare.
Evolutionary Leap was the real deal against control, and the main reason why Grixis Control and Esper Dragons couldn’t beat this deck.
Here’s my updated version of Green-White Tokens for the new format:
It’s also terrible against Liliana, the Last Hope and it isn’t a very good topdeck, but it has enough upside that I think it’s worth including.
Jon Stern Top 8’d GP Toronto with 4 copies of these two creatures, which slowly disappeared from GW deck lists. Personally I’ve never liked either, but now that we have empty slots it’s time to reconsider.
Thraben Inspector can be decent, but overall I think we can find something more powerful.
At the beginning of Eldritch Moon Standard, some G/W lists were playing Noose Constrictor, but it was mainly intended to combat Bant Company’s Spell Quellers and Selfless Spirits, protecting planeswalkers and stalling the board.
Now without Bant Company around, you won’t have those ground stalls anymore.
25 or 26 Lands?
To answer this question you have to examine your mana sinks. Before rotation this deck had way more ways to spend excess mana: Hangarback Walker and Evolutionary Leap. With both cards gone, you’ll find yourself less comfortable with drawing too many lands.
These are the only innovations from Kaladesh so far, and I’m not even sure how good they are.
Verdurous Gearhulk has a more powerful enters-the-battlefield trigger, but it’s worse in play, though it doesn’t need any help from other creatures.
I will need to test both in order to see which is better.
Tireless Tracker is one of my favorite cards and it hurt to play only 1 copy in the main deck, but the deck already has too many expensive cards and I don’t want to overload my curve. It is definitely a great card against control, which is why I have 2 more copies in the sideboard.
Declaration in Stone isn’t the best removal spell for a slow deck, because your opponent will have plenty of time to use their Clue. It’s also not good against Emrakul, the Promised End and Vehicles. Still, it’s one of the most efficient options in the format.
Stasis Snare is a true powerhouse now, since it’s an unconditional, instant-speed removal spell. It’s main strength is the fact that Dromoka’s Command is now out of Standard, and you have way less risk in running in this card out there. Same goes for Quarantine Field.
Fumigate is slightly better than Planar Outburst because the life gain is way more likely to matter than awaken. Also, this deck lacks ways to gain life, which are usually very helpful in midrange decks.
The sideboard is primitive, since we have no idea of how the new Standard metagame will look.
Permeating Mass can be a good defensive creature if there are some red aggressive strategies around, and it matches up well against the many 2/1s in red.
Noose Constrictor is the best card against UR Fevered Visions, which is a deck that will certainly see play after rotation.
This looks like a fine start for a new exciting format.